Welcome back Funk Zonerz!
This episode we sit down with beer and brewery columnist Sean Lewis, who not only writes a weekly column for the Santa Barbara News-Press, but has just released a book on microbreweries in America and the people behind the craft, called "We Make Beer" from St. Martin's Press.
I know that I like beer, but apart from that little else, so the book informed me a lot, as did this hour long chat about the writing of his book and Lewis' many thoughts on the craft, the industry, and his cross-country drive that led to his first book agent and deal. It's a chat that's guaranteed to make you thirsty! Santa Barbara has a lot of exciting breweries, and we talk about them too.
Topics discussed include:
* The end of Pabst Blue Ribbon's trendiness
* Sean's move to Boston and its beer history
* His evolution from Keystone Lite to better beers
* His first attempts at home brewing
* Writing for Beer Advocate
* The learning curve for writers and for brewers
* Firestone Walker using wine barrels to ferment wine
* Jeffers Richardson
* New Albion Brewery, Jack McAuliffe as the birthplace of microbrewing
* Sam Adams, Pete's Wicked Ale, and Anchor Steam
* How Sean Lewis pitched his book to publishers
* Sean's cross-country trip and remote breweries: Brew Kettle in Cleveland, OH and Nebraska Brewing Co.
* Brewmaster Paul Kavulak
* Levels of competition in the beer business
* Tom Acitelli's "The Audacity of Hops"
* Maureen Ogle "Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer"
* How Budweiser is actually good in terms of consistency
* Why it's impossible to recreate century-old beer
* How Sean made his book more marketable
* State by state tax laws, and how that affects brewing
* Santa Barbara's brewing scene and its growth since 2006
* Kevin Pratt, A.J. Stoll, Paul Rey, James, David, Bucky and Diana Burge
* Why Firestone Walker Pale 31 is Sean's favorite
* Whether brewers are good business people
* Why there aren't tech bros in microbrewery
* Why cool labels are a bad sign
* Sean's least favorite beer trends
* German, British, and Belgian beers
* Five breweries across the country you have to try
Sean Lewis' book can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C8X0AR0?btkr=1
His website is here and his Twitter is here